Aerospace & Defense
Major Milestone: NASA's Space Launch System Booster Passes Ground Test
The largest, most powerful rocket booster ever built was successfully fired up on March 11, in preparation for future missions to help propel NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft to deep space destinations including an asteroid and Mars. The booster fired for two minutes in the ground test, the same amount of time it will fire when it lifts the SLS off the launch pad, and produced about 3.6 million pounds of thrust. The test was one of two planned to qualify the booster for flight. Once qualified, the flight booster hardware will be ready for shipment to NASA's Kennedy Space Center for the first SLS flight.